Monday, August 13, 2007

Thoughts on being open

My understanding of being open with a child about his or her origins means making sure she (I will refer to said child as she for the rest of this post, simply because it is easier) has always known about them. That means, before she can talk or read or understand, we are going to repeat her story to her. Her story is her story. It isn't good; it isn't bad; it is simply her story. She will grow up knowing it, and though she may not fully understand its implications, she will have no memory of not knowing it.

I am going to put together a book and read it like a good night story to her. Every child loves to hear her birth story, and our child will be no different. Her story may be a little different, but she will simply always know it as her story and will not know any different. It will simply be a small part of who she is.

When she is four, she may decide to tell random people parts of her story. She may react to something someone says to her with parts of her story. Her story will be out there. The question is how to prepare others for this possible situation.

T and I need to talk about this. I think it is better if people just know. I think he doesn't want to share as much. I don't mean that we should tell strangers on the street, but some of his closer coworkers, maybe. Aunts and uncles and cousins should know. If people know, they will not be shocked if it comes out of the kid. It is nothing to be ashamed of. It is simply part of who she is. If it is just the way it is, then why wouldn't everybody know?

I don't know how T will feel about this. I don't know when it will be time to share the information with other people. I do know that we have to absorb this information into our lives and accept it with our hearts and our souls because this is how we are going to bring our child into the world. And we have to share this with our child completely.


ultimatejourney said...

This is something we're still figuring out too. I haven't found any easy answers.

You may still want to make your own book, but I thought you might like to know that there are similar books out there:

Book List

X, Y, and me

ultimatejourney said...

Oops, I messed up the first link. Here it is again:

Book List

Anonymous said...

I think you are totally right for being open with your child/children. It is important that they know the whole truth.

You and T will figure out who you want to share it with and when. That is entirely your decision on when and how to tell, it is one of the things you have control over.

Drowned Girl said...

I found with my son, we talked about how he grew in my tummy from an egg from me and a seed from daddy, from when he was very tiny.

With our DE conceived baby, it will be natural to say that mummy's eggs were no good to Aunty H gave us one of hers. To NOT say that, would be deceitful in my mind.

Nina said...

Hi Rachel, me and my husband J talked very long about this, on many occasions and we had a lot of different feelings at different times. Before we ever started with our first dIUI we were 100% sure that we were going to raise our child from the start with the knowledge of her being conceived using donor sperm. Here in Sweden, couples that are using a donor for conception, are urged by social services to raise their child knowing of her conception.

We are also slowly letting out friends and family know of our babies conception. Everybody is reacting positively.

I am going to link your blog on mine, I hope that's OK?

Take care. Nina

DrSpouse said...

They do say it is best that the child knows before it comes as a surprise to them from someone else - it sounds like you are sorted out about that.

Sarah said...

i love your book idea, i think that's how any of us would want to find out (i.e. for there not really to be so much a "finding out"). but i can see why he would have a harder time with all the public knowing. maybe what feels right will come more naturally as things progress.

Reproductive Jeans said...

Awesome post...I think this is a great idea for all of us going through treatment/adoption, etc.

Trace said...

It is a very tough decision. You know I've been wrestling with it. My husband would be happy never saying anything. I don't think I can do that. It feels dishonest to me and chances are it would "come out". Most recently we talked about sharing when he/she is 10 or 11 (right before puberty). Oddly enough if we adopted a child we would tell from the beginning as others have suggested. So why is adoption different? In my mind it's not except we would have a lot more control. My husband doesn't want to seriously discuss it until we have concluded all our fertility investigation and we know that me getting pregnant is a real possibility. I know that if I got pregnant there would be plenty of time to think about everything. I also know that he would want to do what is most emotionally healthy for our child, at this point he is feeling insecure about not being the biological father. My gut tells me that after a baby is actually in the picture he will feel very different and have confidence in our childs love. We had a little discussion about people being able to love more than one person, why wouldn't a child be able to love more than one mommy or daddy? Although in my mind, the donor is not a daddy, just a person who facilitated our family and the biological father.

Amy R said...

Its nice reading what you wrote and reading your commenters advice as well regarding the topic. Should our round(s) of IVF turn out to be unsuccessful, I think I would then try dIUI probably a few times before going down the adoption route. So I've often wondered about this question as well. Best of luck, whatever you and your DH decides :)

katty said...

The donor conception network in the UK has a project about telling children - dvd and books.
I think it's called talking and telling.
The very happy mother of donor conceived twins...